Five Lee Athletes Qualify For Division II National Track Championships

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
 The NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee has announced the participants for the 2018 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Lee University’s Emily Buwalda, Audrey Smith, Justin Brooks and Josiah Brooks were selected and will represent Lee in six different events.

A total of 754 participants, 377 men and 377 women, will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the championships by reaching the automatic and provisional standards established for each event.

Buwalda was selected to compete in the 800-meter run.
Her qualifying time of 2:08.88 places her as the No. 10 seed in the event. Skylyn Webb of UC-Colorado Springs is the top seed with a mark of 2:04.57.

“Emily is looking to build off her fifth-place finish at the indoor championships,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “She has a lot of momentum going into this championship.”

Smith will compete in the 5000-meter run and the 3000-meter steeplechase. She enters the 5000 with the 21st-fastest time in the field at 16:50.73. Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat enters as the favorite with a season-best time of 15:41.21.

In the steeplechase, Smith is seeded No. 14. She recorded a time of 10:40.13 at the Tennessee Challenge on May 5. Alicja Konieczek of Western State is the top seed with a mark of 9:57.14.

“Audrey has the honor of competing in two events,” said Morgan. “She has been dominant her last six weeks of racing. We are eager to see what she can do with competition.”

Justin Brooks was selected for the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. He is the No. 7 seed in the 200 (20.85) and Marcus Parker (Eastern New Mexico) is No. 1 at 20.43. Brooks enters the 400-meter with the fifth-best time of the year at 46.65. Myles Pringle of Ashland has posted the quickest time in the field at 45.50.

Josiah Brooks is Lee’s representative in the triple jump and will join Justin in the 200. Josiah is seeded ninth in the 200 with a qualifying time of 20.88 and is 14th in the triple jump at 15.41 meters. Tiffin’s Jalon Monigan holds the top seed with a mark of 15.98 meters.

“Justin and Josiah both being in two events puts us in a great place to make a big push in the team standings. They are used to this stage and hungry to compete,” added Morgan.

The men’s 4x400-meter relay team fell one spot shy of making the championships field. The relay team was No. 15 among the teams that declared for the championships, but only 14 relay teams were selected.

Josiah Brooks had also been declared for the 100-meter dash. The committee selected 20 participants and Brooks was 23rd on the list.

Thomas Kelton and Hannah Buttolph met the provisional qualifying marks for the 3000-meter steeplechase and the high jump, respectively. Both of their marks were 39th among those that declared for their events. Harold Smith was 47th in the 800-meter run.

Audrey Smith recorded the 24th-fastest time in the 10000-meter run this season, but it was decided to not declare an intent to participate in the event at the championships.

The championships will be held May 24-26 in Charlotte, N.C., at the Irwin Belk Complex. Johnson C. Smith University will serve as the host of the championships. The championships will be streamed live on www.NCAA.com each day.

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